Welcome to the final part of our blog series, Five Steps for Selecting an Agency Management System. The last post in this series discussed the decision making process. Now it's time to implement your new software and mange the change in your office.
Step 5: Change Doesn't Have to be Scary
So you've finally chosen an agency management system, gone through the initial set-up and are ready to be trained. You’re done, right? Not quite! Along with your software purchase, you've purchased a new way of doing business - and brought about change for your employees.
Change in the workplace is often thought of with negativity - the fear of the unknown, especially in a person’s career, can be frightening. But there are ways to make the transition to a new agency management system easier for your whole staff.
There are four ways to positively impact how a new agency management system is received by your employees:
1) Involve staff in the decision making process.
If you've followed our steps, you've already involved staff members by having them help you create must-have lists and wish lists. Be sure everyone who will be impacted has a chance to share their opinion - from customer service representatives to senior management.
2) Communicate the importance and value of a new system.
Consistent and positive communication about change is key to a successful transition. Be sure your staff knows why a new agency management system is important to the company and be clear about the positive impacts you expect on their workloads.
3) Provide adequate training and support.
The easiest way to ease fear of change is to provide education. Ask your vendor about training sessions and provide your employees with an understanding of how their job impacts every step of the process - how does setting up the client files correctly affect timely commission payments? How does tracking each policy make the salesperson’s job easier?
Also, consider setting up regular informal training sessions during the first few months of using the new system - letting your employees learn from each other and talk through their questions. We find that a lot of agencies have a few "rock stars" of the new software. These are the ones who have a good understanding and who other employees turn to for advice, tips & tricks, and questions about the new agency management system. Find those rock starts amongst your team and let them help you motivate others.
4) Ensure consistency in the way the system is used.
Last, but possibly most important, ensure each of your employees is using the system in the same manner. Create standard operating procedures in the new system that make it easy for employees to use. Try to incorporate your current way of doing business into the new system as much as possible. Nothing is more frustrating for your employees than finding out they have incorrectly entered information in the system. And nothing is more frustrating for you than spending money on a system that is quickly abandoned because of lack of consistency.
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